Assembly And BIOS
The XPC model SX58H7 is said to be both CrossFire- and SLI-compatible, but Shuttle included only the CrossFire bridge in our sample. Two SATA cables are pre-mounted in the case, while the third is supplied in the accessory kit.
Included but not shown are a screw pack and driver CD.
Shuttle’s SX58H7 has enough room even for our super-tall Kingston ULT1 memory modules under its drive tray.
Zotac’s GeForce GTX 260² 896 MB has become our most recent benchmarking standard card, and it fits quite nicely.
There’s even enough room for a GeForce GTX 295 or, if you prefer, a Radeon HD 4870 X2.
Shuttle provides an extremely simple “Frequency/Voltage Functions” menu that still contains all the settings most overclockers require. Our only limitation was in memory speed selection, which is a problem Shuttle promises to address quickly.
|BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)|
|CPU Reference Clock||100 to 250 MHz (1 MHz)|
|DRAM Ratios||DDR3-800, DDR3-1066|
|PCIe Clock||100 to 150 MHz (1 MHz)|
|CPU Vcore||0.850 to 1.80 Volts (0.025 V)|
|CPU VTT (Uncore) Volts||1.125 to 1.80 Volts (0.025 V)|
|IOH (Northbridge) Core||1.125 to 2.00 volts (0.025 V)|
|ICH (Southbridge) Core||1.125 to 2.00 volts (0.025 V)|
|DRAM Voltage||1.525 to 1.900 Volts (0.025 V)|
|CASLatencyRange||tCAS:5-10; tRCD: 5-10; tRP: 5-10; tRAS: 14-28|
All of these function fit into a single menu that requires only a two-page scroll to view in its entirety.
The XPC SX58H7 also has a “User Habit Auto Set” sub-menu capable of storing two custom-BIOS configurations.
It actually went to 425W peak with both Prime95 (8-threads) and Crysis GPU bench (2560 Very-High 8x) running at the same time, but that's not a very realistic test.
It shows how the system compares to a standard motherboard and cooler in performance and overclocking. If you want more than standard cooling, you can read any of the X58 motherboard shootouts where a big liquid cooler is used.
Something I found with my current Shuttle box (i.e. SN21G5) is that, having added a modest dedicated graphics card (i.e. NVIDIA 9500 GT), the heat generated by the GPU was enough to keep the main fan spinning at low speeds even when idle. So as soon as the system is put under some load, even if the GPU is idle and only one CPU core is used 100%, the fan will spin at almost full speed generating quite some noise.
Since these small computers are often placed on the desktop, next to the user, the noise level is even more apparent than with other systems which generate similar decibel figures, but rest on the floor, etc. So... should I move away from SFF for my next PC if I want a silent Core i7 system with a GTX 260 GPU?
I can't really seem to figure this part out, at ava direct they have this XPC SX58H7 for about $688 I think, but again nothign conclusive as to what it comes w/....
Case, mobo, PSU. Yes, it's expensive.